Hello again!  It’s good to be with you today as we continue our journey through this time of pandemic.

Unfortunately, the number of COVID cases continues to climb in the areas surrounding our manufacturing locations.  In fact, we recently experienced a surprising spike in cases at our Salem plant.  I believe these cases have now been contained and under control, with affected team members on the road to recovery.  I believe the events in Salem are a stark reminder of the need to be vigilant in our fight against COVID-19.  We must be disciplined in wearing masks and to proactively choose to limit any potential exposure to the virus.

At NAL we will strictly adhere to CDC guidelines for the protection of our team members.  Recently, and as a result of new information about the virus, the CDC has updated their guidelines regarding quarantining and testing.  NAL has followed suit by updating our COVID-19 Playbook to reflect these changes, most notably about return to work parameters once a team member becomes infected.  I sincerely hope that no NAL team members become infected and these new protocols never apply to you.  But if they do, your HR team will let you know what is needed prior to returning to work after testing positive or being exposed to someone who is positive.

The passing of Congressman John Lewis, civil rights icon and lifelong activist, is a sad moment in our country’s history. His life was dedicated to everyone ultimately realizing and possessing all of the common rights that we should all be able to enjoy in America. Most notably the rights of free speech, inclusion, and the self-evident fact that all people are created equal.  Congressman Lewis’ passing further reinforces my shock and sadness over the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.  Their deaths seem attributed to an utter lack of humanity, which we simply cannot be accepted and allowed!  My heart goes out to their families and those closely and personally affected by these crimes.

Reflecting on such tragedies, I am reminded of a long-held belief that our country is stronger and better as a diverse, inclusive society.  I want to publicly reaffirm my personal commitment and NAL’s commitment to providing a workplace free from discriminatory practices and with a zero tolerance for racist, sexist or any kind of prejudicial behaviors.  At NAL, let’s collectively recommit to treat each other with kindness and respect.  Let’s be true to our core values that include diversity and inclusion.

In fact, I am currently working with our HR teams to establish Diversity and Inclusion committees at our various locations.  These committees will include hourly and salary employees that will be tasked with the responsibility of helping us stay true to our core values.  Specific details about these committees will be forthcoming.

Finally, I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Mr. Martell Rand, a long-time Alabama team member.  Mr. Rand was highly thought of by all who knew him and will be missed greatly.  My deepest condolences go out to his family and his friends as they mourn the passing of Mr. Rand.

Thank you once again for spending a few minutes with me.  I extend my best wishes for your health and safety, and as always, I hope to see you soon!

-Kirk Gadberry

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